Bills and Letters
Asthma Canada advocates on behalf of Canadians with (and affected by asthma) at all levels of government.
Support of Bill 75 – 9-1-1 Everywhere in Ontario
On May 09, 2019, Asthma Canada publicly supported Bill 75, 9-1-1 Everywhere in Ontario Act, 2019 by participating in a news conference at Queen`s Park. Asthma Canada’s President and CEO Vanessa Foran spoke at the press conference, alongside MPP and NDP Health Critic France Gelinas, and family members of an Ontario resident who called 9-1-1 during an asthma attack but was unable to speak and subsequently died. Unfortunately, no emergency services were dispatched as a result of her inability to communicate.
Bill 75 was introduced by Nickel Belt MPP France Gelinas, passed second reading, and was referred to the Standing Committee on Social Policy.
The bill has three main objectives:
- Do away with 1-800 numbers in case of emergency and migrate to 911 everywhere in Ontario.
- Improve the 911 emergency system by improving training.
- Give the Ontario Ombudsman the responsibility to investigate complaints against the 911 system.
Asthma Canada is happy to support Bill 75, which will help ensure that two million Ontarians with asthma (and others) have timely and assured access to emergency services.
MP France Gelinas (far left) and Asthma Canada CEO and President, Vanessa Foran (third from left)
Support of Bill 151, Vaping is Not for Kids
In November 2019, Asthma Canada attended a press conference in support of Ontario NDP Health Critic France Gelinas’ new members bill, Vaping is not for Kids. The new bill requires the Ministry of Health to take steps to prevent young people from starting to use vape products and becoming addicted to nicotine and amending promotions/sales of vaping products to be similar to the restrictions on tobacco.
On February 3, 2020, Ontario’s Minister of Health announced flavoured vaping products would be banned from convenience stores and gas stations and that they would cap nicotine levels in a bid to prevent young people from using e-cigarettes.
Immediate Roadside Prohibition
An immediate roadside prohibition (IRP) is when the police issue a roadside notice, compelling a motorist to surrender their driving licence.
Asthma Canada, the Canadian Lung Assocation and COPD Canada sent a letter on behalf of all Canadians with severe lung disease regarding recent reports of inflexible measures concerning roadside breathalyzer testing.
Media reports and personal accounts recounted instances where Canadians with severe lung disease were required to take a breathalyzer test and were unable to produce a reading due to airway obstruction. Inability to produce a reading registers as an automatic fail of the test and subsequently, immediate roadside prohibition. These Canadians were offered no accomodations when they were unable to produce enough airflow for a breathalyzer reading.
The letter requested an overview of how officers of the law perform roadside breathalyzer tests, and if any accommodations exist.
Pets on Planes
Asthma Canada was an official intervenor with the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) when they heard a complaint about airline policy to allow pets (particularly cats) on-board aircraft in the cabin.
Following our submission, the CTA ruled that airlines had an obligation to provide accommodation to passengers with a severe allergy to cats, in line with Asthma Canada’s position.